U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, joined two fellow Republicans to pen an op-ed published in The Hill on Monday in support of a resolution they have introduced explicitly condemning several Democratic Representatives for alleged anti-Semitic comments.
Ms. Stefanik joined Reps. Lee Zeldin, also of New York, and Ted Budd of North Carolina on the joint op-ed in support of House Resolution 72.
“It is OK to have reasonable, legitimate criticism of any government in the world, including the U.S. government and those of our allies, but when it is in the name of that criticism that deep and dark hate towards other people costs innocent people their lives and freedom from discrimination, than silence is especially never an option,” they wrote.
In particular, they condemn Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and say she should be removed from her committee assignments.
Ms. Omar has been called anti-Semitic over her criticism of Israeli involvement in American politics, including tweeting about American support for Israel, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”
Critics say she invoked anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish people in politics. Ms. Omar has apologized, and said her comments were criticism of lobbying and money in politics more broadly.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Ms. Omar wrote on Twitter. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity.”
House Resolution 72 refers to a number of examples of anti-Semitism and mentions Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, as well as comments from non-congressional representatives, like white nationalist Richard Spencer, Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam and Robert Bowers, the alleged shooter in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last year. But the key target is clearly Ms. Omar.
“We urge all of our colleagues to support H.Res. 72, remove Rep. Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and reject anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate once and for all,” the op-ed concludes.
Democrats are reportedly putting forth a resolution of their own condemning anti-Semitism. A draft copy of the resolution posted by the New York Times does not mention Ms. Omar by name.
“(Ms. Stefanik) wishes that it did, but she will vote for it, of course,” said Stefanik spokeswoman Madison Anderson on Tuesday.
The Democratic draft resolution, which does not yet have a number, includes a number of possible anti-Semitic behaviors to be condemned and states “Jewish people are subject to numerous other dangerous anti-Semitic myths as well, including that Jews control the banks, media, and the United States Government or seek world domination and that Jews are obsessed with money.”
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